The U.S. Coast Guard has seen an uptick in the number of fake distress calls it has received in recent months and is looking to counter the problem with voice recognition technology, the Verge reported. Tasked with law enforcement and search and rescue missions in both domestic and international waters, fielding prank calls has become costly for the Coast Guard since it has to respond by deploying aircraft and clearing airspace for its mission. In response to the pranks, which have been happening nearly every day in recent months, the Coast Guard is planning to adopt voice recognition software to identify the phony callers. The fake calls come in through the Coast Guard's VHF radio channel, essentially the maritime version of 911. Unlike a typical phone call, the radio communications do not have any identifying information like a phone number -- and tracking the source of the transmission presents a number of challenges.
President-elect Donald Trump will be able to employ deadly drone strikes largely at his discretion if current guidelines remain in place. And President Barack Obama has no plans to change those rules before he leaves office, the Guardian reported Tuesday. The next president will inherit the so-called drones "playbook" created by the Obama administration in 2013 that dictated policy on drone strikes, the president's main way of striking against terrorism. Since drone usage began under the administration of President George W. Bush, thousands of people have been killed through the targeted strikes from unmanned aircraft and many nations across the globe consider the standards the U.S. applies for drone strikes to be too secretive. "Maybe on the left no one would believe that Trump has a steady hand, but Obama has normalized the idea that presidents get to have secret large-scale killing programs at their disposal," Naureen Shah of Amnesty International USA told the Guardian.
New York bombing suspect Ahmad Rahami is reported intubated and unconscious Wednesday at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, where he was taken following a shootout with police. Rahami has been charged with Saturday's bombing in the Chelsea section of Manhattan that left 31 people injured. Newark FBI spokesman Bob Reilly said Rahami had undergone surgery and police have yet to interrogate him. Rahami is suspected of placing an explosive device that detonated in a Dumpster as well as a pressure-cooker device several blocks away that failed to detonate. He also is expected to placing a pipe bomb in a garbage can along a race route in Seaside Park, New Jersey.